Thursday, June 18, 2015

Summer Cool: A Kitchen Remodeling Lookbook

The summer solstice is three days away, but the Philadelphia area is feeling the heat: last week we hit the mid-90s (near 100 heat index) and this weekend promises more of the same. To beat the heat, most of us retreat inside to cool, air-conditioned rooms; some take a trip down the Shore, where the water temps are just now nearing 70 degrees (just watch out for sharks).

Despite the heat (and the sharks), many people love the carefree feeling of summer. After all, it's hard not to agree with the sentiment of Olaf, the carefree snowman from Frozen: 

"Just imagine how much cooler I'll be in summer!"

Cool, indeed. At MKBD, we believe the best remodeling projects conjure a certain feeling for our customers. Some customers like the feeling of luxury. Some want to feel stylish. But many like the easy-going feeling of summer.

Ahh: Clean and cool, this light and bright MKBD project evokes a sense of elegance and leisure, a perfect combo for our cool clients in Holland, PA.

A "Cool" Feeling

The evocation of a certain feeling is obviously not the only factor the guides our design process, but we've found that this simple question can inspire ideas: What feeling would you like your kitchen to evoke? A one word answer is often enough to set you on the right direction.

Whatever your answer, to facilitate inspiration, MKBD posts occasional "Kitchen Lookbooks" with photos and details from our prior projects. Last November, for example, we focused on wooden floors and cabinets.

Today, with a nod to summer, we're thinking about the escape from the heat: to "cool" remodeling projects that evoke a sense of carefree leisure, from the Mediterranean (see above) to the light palette of summertime dress (think whites and cremes) to the easy luxury of vacation resorts.

Light and bright: the right palette can certainly evoke a sense of coolness.

A Light Palette

Many homeowners prefer the stoic luxury of wood cabinets stained a suitably dark color, like burgundy or brown. But for a sense of summertime cool, nothing beats light and bright colors. When spread throughout a kitchen (like the MKBD project above) a light palette can speak of elegance and leisure at once.

Think of the elegant simplicity of a white linen button-up shirt or a white sundress.

In this sort of atmosphere, accessorizing is as simple as a bouquet of flowers or a bright hand towel. Note how the blue really pops in the photo below.

A simple blue hand towel illustrates a simple point: with a light palette, accessorizing with color is easy.

For a light palette think about white cabinets, creme countertops and light flooring, like light granite floor tiles or natural wood flooring.

Smoke white granite flooring brightens this creme kitchen.

Natural Light

Far too many homeowners toil away in dim kitchens with lackluster lighting. To avoid this, of course, you must prioritize lighting from the very beginning of your project--especially natural light. At MKBD, we believe an abundance of natural light is a crucial element of a well-designed kitchen layout. Of course, we recommend installing quality kitchen lights with your full-scale kitchen renovation. But your first priority, especially if you're looking for a cool, summery feeling is natural light.

The light palette in this MKBD project, with a creme backsplash and brandywine-stained cabinets, is complemented by a large window, which floods the room with light.

Natural light can come from windows, skylights, and when feasible, an adjacent room. If your kitchen layout is short on available window space, consider opening the kitchen with an open floor plan, like this MKBD project below.

An open floor plan lends an expansive, airy feeling to most spaces; it also offers the opportunity for more natural light--a perfect solution if your kitchen window options are limited.

FREE Kitchen Remodeling Estimate

If you're planning to remodel your kitchen, talk to the experts first. MKBD is currently offering a FREE Kitchen remodeling estimate, FREE design, and FREE custom layout to all new customers.

Call now! 215-355-4747 or visit us online at 

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